See also: German Version & Background
01 What does the law say about consumption and possession of cannabis?
02 What does the law say about consumption and possession of other illegal drugs?
Simply consuming Cannabis and other regulated substances (narcotics, medical drugs, alcohol, tobacco, and substances with uncertain legal status) is basically legal.
Taking part in – particularly motorized – traffic under the influence of psychoactive substances will threaten one’s driver’s license and may be legally prosecuted.
Detection of previous consumption with a test or through a statement made to the police can raise doubts on one’s capability to drive a motor vehicle.
Especially professions like bus drivers will have to face disciplinary consequences in any case, even if their consumption took place outside working hours.
The possession of and any other contact with (purchase, import, export, passing on, etc.) all substances listed in Appendices 1-3 of the Narcotics Law (BtmG) without the required permit is illegal and will be punished with up to five years in jail in case of normal amounts.
A permit is usually only granted for scientific purposes, also there are about 150 persons who are allowed to buy Cannabis from pharmacies and are not prosecuted for possession.
There are exemptions for some substances from the obligation to obtain authorisation for the following: involved logistics service providers, medical doctors, pharmacists, patients with the required prescription, as well as federal authorities.
The prosecutor may put aside prosecution (Sec. 31a BtmG) [hier fehlt im Deutschen das Verb ‘kann’] when the offender’s guilt is assumed to be limited, when there is no public interest in criminal prosecution, and when the offender has grown, produced, imported, exported, processed, purchased or in any other way obtained or possessed the narcotics only in small amounts and for his/her private consumption.
Similarly, courts may stop proceedings under the same conditions.
It is nowhere defined in the law how much a “small amount” is; for Cannabis, it is 6 grams in most German federal states, for other substances, it is few consumption units.
The individual federal states and prosecutors handle Sec. 31a BtmG very differently.
Every federal state has issued individual framework guidelines on this.
03 Are there Cannabis Social Clubs active? If yes, how many approximately?
03 Gibt es aktive Cannabis Social Clubs? Wenn ja, wieviele etwa?
No. At the moment, there are no registered Cannabis grow operations in Germany (excluding industrial hemp). For very few persons it is virtually legal to grow Cannabis for medical purposes after courts have ruled that these were “justified acts of necessity”. There are various considerations to start Cannabis Social Clubs, either legally by obtaining an exemption permit for patients or recreational users, or illegally as a form of political protest.
04 Are there user rooms for people who use opiates and other hard drugs?
04 Gibt es Konsumräume für Gebraucher von Opiaten und anderen “harten Drogen”?
There are user rooms in various federal states, e.g. in Hamburg, Berlin and in North Rhine-Westphalia. To be able to operate user rooms, subsidiary legislation by the federal state (Verordnung) is required; such legislation is in place in Berlin, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North-Rhine Westphalia, and in Saarland. In all other federal states, it is illegal to operate user rooms.
Drug consumption rooms in Germany http://www.aidshilfe.de/sites/default/files/DAHakzeptDCR%20in%20Germany_2011.pdf
Drug consumption rooms in Germany http://www.akzept.org/pdf/aktuel_pdf/DKR07web.pdf
A lot of information, also in English http://drogenkonsumraum.net/
05 What are the main political parties (that have candidates for the European Elections)?
05 Welches sind die wichtigsten Parteien (die Kandidaten für die EP Wahl haben)?
Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) Alliance ’90/The Greens (Grüne) Free Democratic Party (FDP) The Left (LINKE) Pirate Party Germany (Piraten)
There is a 3% hurdle (to enter the federal parliament). The German Pirate Party and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) could also make it.
06 What is the position of these parties on:
-harm reduction, health-based approach to drugs
-decriminalisation of cannabis and/or other drugs
-Cannabis Social Clubs?
06 Welche Positionen haben diese Parteien bei den Themen:
– Schadensminderung, gesundheitsbasierter Ansatz bei Drogen
– Entkriminalisierung von Cannabis und/oder anderen Drogen
– Cannabis Social Clubs?
There are clear differences between the parties.
In general, CDU, CSU, AfD, and FDP are against progressive drug policies, with the CSU representing the right edge. The AfD haven’t really stated their position yet and the FDP differs only slightly. Green Party, Left Party and Pirates are in favor of a progressive drug policy and in addition demand legalisation and regulation of drugs other then cannabis. The SPD’s position is unclear. They claim to be against criminalization and in favor of cannabis as medicine, but at the same time turn down initiatives brought forward by the Green and the Left without contributing any proposal for amendment.
07 What are the two most important threats to drug consumers on the political and legal front? 07 Was sind die zwei größten Gefahren für Drogengebraucher an der politischen und rechtlichen Front?
Apart from criminal prosecution, the abuse of driver license legislation is a big problem. Frank Tempel from the Left Party summarizes that “The war on drugs is arbitrarily continued in traffic law”. Unfortunately, drug policy is not a core theme of the political work of any of the progressive parties (Green, Left, Pirates).
08 What is the most promising or positive development concerning drug policy?
08 Welches ist die vielversprechendste oder positivste Entwicklung in der Drogenpolitik?
With the Pirate Party, there is now a third progressive party and the competition between them drives the issue forward.
The most exciting project is an initiative by the Green Party in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and their district mayor Monika Herrmann. They want to make an application for a model test and legally distribute cannabis. For a majority in the district assembly, the Green Party only needs the approval of the Left or the Pirate Party.
The application “Coffee shop at the Görlitzer Park” (ref. no. DS/0807/IV) is currently discussed in parliament and will probably be decided about in late November. This is the text:
“The district authority is charged to implement required measurements in cooperation with experts, information centers and local residents to counter the negative results of prohibition and the resulting black market.
– summoning a round table/expert meetings in cooperation with local residents and/or initiatives concerning Görlitzer Park, local addiction treatment centers, the police, and politicians with expertise in that matter
– clarifying open legal issues, i.e. who will operate the shop, where to procure the material, and making the application at the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) for the authorization for controlled and licensed distribution of cannabis products
– making sure that opening and operating a coffee shop serves public interest, i.e. ensuring that the required scientific monitoring of the model test is carried out together with suitable research centers, so that the model test is justified by scientific interest.”